From #metoo to “Time’s Up,” recent events in Hollywood and among government officials have brought the issue of sexual harassment to the forefront. While glamorous celebrities have set up a platform for the cause, their efforts may have little effect on your daily struggle, and you may wonder how to stand up for yourself and other women — and how to put a stop to harassment and hostility in Arizona workplaces.
Fortunately for some facing sexual harassment on the job, HR representatives often effectively resolve the situation by facilitating the enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy. However, sometimes reporting sexual harassment leads to negative consequences, such as retaliation. There are steps you can take to improve your chances of a satisfactory outcome in your situation.
Reporting sexual harassment in the workplace
With so many women across the country coming together to bring the problem of sexual harassment into the light, you may find that it won’t be so difficult to find a sympathetic ear. Employers, clients and co-workers have likely seen the headlines of powerful men whose illegal and unethical actions against women have brought the violators’ careers quickly to a shameful end. Some of these men are facing criminal charges.
The cry of “Time’s Up” means that those who have used their power to sexually exploit women in the workplace may now face the consequences of their actions. If you believe the time is up for a violator of your rights, an experienced employment law attorney can guide you through the legal process of holding the violator accountable. Other recommended steps include:
- Let the person harassing you know, in no uncertain terms, that his or her behavior is offensive and unacceptable.
- Document every inappropriate interaction with the violator, including the date and time of the incident and the names of anyone who may have witnessed the incident.
- Review your employee handbook for the company’s sexual harassment policy and the steps you can take for reporting it.
- Follow the next step in your handbook, which is likely alerting Human Resources or the representative in charge of handling harassment complaints.
- If no policy exists, discuss the situation with your manager or, if your manager is the offender, with your manager’s supervisor.
If you find no resolution within your workplace, your next option may be to contact the offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which will step in to help bring the matter to closure. At the end of its investigation, the EEOC may issue a letter granting you permission to file a lawsuit against the employer. In all of these matters, it is a good idea to have legal counsel.
Retaliation and recompense
You may have justifiable fears of retaliation from your employer after reporting sexual harassment. However, with the right legal assistance, you may be able to obtain compensation for any distress or financial injury the situation has caused you. You have been mistreated and disrespected long enough. Time’s up.